The Coming Superbugs: The Growing Threat of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), somewhere around 2 million Americans were hit with drug-resistant bacteria last year, and about 23,000 died because the infections proved untreatable.
It’s a growing problem that many researchers see as a race against time – one that we’re starting to lose. With the rise of so-called superbugs, drug-resistant bacteria that have become immune to our current class of antibiotics, researchers are scrambling to create the next generation of antibiotics to fight infections that are becoming increasingly untreatable and deadly.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the problem is so serious that WHO director General Margaret Chan is warning that even small ailments, once treatable with antibiotics, will soon become a potential death sentence. She said, “Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”
In a report prepared by the CDC in September, the agency warned that the overuse of antibiotics is one of the most serious threats to public health.
“We are rapidly approaching the point where the antibiotics we’ve relied on for generations will no longer be available to treat infections that can actually be lethal,” said Dr. Michael Bell, deputy director of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control.